NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Absolutely. And I want to be sure that that's where we are. Okay, thank you very much. We appreciate your being here today.
We look forward to hearing from the Research Subcommittee and we'll facilitate that happening in a way that will accommodate the varied schedules that exist among our Commissioners.
We do have a few other small items of business to discuss, and in case the audience hadn't noticed, we sort of made the decision to keep following through and see how much we could get done, and we have continued to work through lunch.
With that, if you'll notice under the New Business section of the agenda, we have covered the introduction of staff, and I think the next item up would be the discussion of the workplan which I think is appropriate to follow our discussion on the Research Subcommittee.
And let me offer a suggestion here as a way to proceed at this point. I think with the adoption of the Research Subcommittee's proposal today, and with the presentation from ACIR, what I would like to suggest at this point is that one of the first tasks that we give to our new executive director is to take that information back and incorporate it into and present to us, a workplan that fits with the Research proposal that we have just adopted.
It was very frustrating to figure out on those, which comes first, the chicken or the egg, how can you work out a workplan without knowing exactly what the Research Agenda would be and how you get that done? But I think it would be very helpful if we give any input or guidance, suggestions, to the staff as they begin that process, and suggest that they get back to us.
If you'd like to put a time limit on it or if you want to leave it in a reasonable time, a workplan for us to review. And I'd open it up for discussion at that point in time. Commissioner Wilhelm.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: I think your procedural suggestion makes excellent sense. If I might comment a bit on the -- if this fits into what -- the comments you were just asking for on the workplan, timeline in the binder?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Yes.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Appropriate?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Yes.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: I read elsewhere in the materials we were given this morning -- and correct me if I'm wrong, Kay -- that you have concluded that the notion of visiting in Atlantic City in November is probably not realistic in terms of --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Yes, that was going to be a part of our next discussion on the site visit, but I think it's appropriate in the larger discussion of the workplan that we have that now.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: I'm sorry, I wanted to address most primarily the question of site visits. Should I wait?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Let's go ahead and do that now within this context and have the discussion about Atlantic City.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Okay. And so again, I gather you had concluded that November wasn't just realistic in terms of putting it together, and so --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: It occurred to me that bringing on a new executive director that we should give her the opportunity to get in, organize the staff, and that we have a draft suggestion that's here -- because we said we would, and for that purpose only.
But I would love to give our new executive director the opportunity to review that, to make some suggestions, to work with the Commission, and I think it would be very helpful it we could delay that. And that would be my suggestion.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: I would concur with that for the reasons that you just described. So with that change in the possible timeline that is in our binder behind Tab 8, and presumably there might flow some other changes, modifications, and so forth behind that, let me say in general, that I believe that the kind of meeting schedule that you have outlined as well as the locations of some of those meetings, make a great deal of sense.
And I make that comment without I hope, being disrespectful to the views that a number of the commissioners have expressed about the difficulties in terms of their day jobs in making these kinds of trips.
My sons are regularly and accurately pointing out to me that I'm hopelessly pre-electronic, and so it may be that this is the reason for the feeling that I have that in order to get any kind of a real sense of the context that any kind of an ability to begin to make the kind of judgments that our final report will require, that we do need to go to a bunch of these places.
I indicated at our last meeting I'd like to go do more. But I recognize that, Kay, in outlining the revised workplan and meeting schedule and site visits here that you've attempted -- in a way that I think represents an excellent effort -- to reconcile all of those different points of view that were expressed on this.
So I don't want to belabor this but since this has not been approved, I would like to very strongly support the kinds of business that are suggested here. And if I could just give one example of the sort of thing that I hope the commissioners will not overlook.
I've heard a number of commissioners say - - and I think I understand why this gets said -- well, you know, gee, why do we need to go to Las Vegas? You know, everybody knows about Las Vegas. Well, I would respectfully submit that everybody doesn't know about Las Vegas.
And moreover, I think that there are points to be made about the particular kind of manifestation of gambling that is Las Vegas that very few people know about -- including as a matter of fact, some of the people who are there all the time.
I just want to mention two of them. People think about Las Vegas, well, it's the strip -- but it's these huge mega-resort of the kind that Terry Lanni runs. Well, there's a lot to that; there is all that. And if you haven't been to Las Vegas in recent years then it's a lot different than it used to be.
But you know, there's other manifestations of gambling in Las Vegas that I think are very much a part of what we're looking at. Just speaking personally, for example, I'm very uncomfortable when I go into a convenience store in Las Vegas and I find a row of six slot machines and I find people sitting there, you know, plunking the money into them.
And I think that's one kind of manifestation of gambling that regrettably, is best seen in Las Vegas and needs to be looked at and thought about. Intuitively, I think there's a lot of problems with that, but I think we need to look at it in addition to researching it.
On the other hand, I think that Las Vegas represents the kind of gambling -- and it's not the exclusive representative of this type of gambling, but it's the most developed kind of gambling that, in my view, is the most beneficial. In particular, from the point of view of the question of economic impact and as what I believe is the most important part of economic impact, the question of job quality.
Intuitively -- I believe that we need to research this, but we also need to look at it. Intuitively, I believe that from the point of view of the impact on the host community, and from the point of view of the number, quality and kind of jobs that draw from all over the -- that are created I think, the destination resorts all across the country that draw from all over the nation and all over the world, are more valuable than other manifestations of gambling.
And I don't think anybody could realistically form a set of judgments about the nature of the impact on the community and the nature of the economic benefits of destination resorts without going to the place where they are the most well-developed.
So I only go through that discussion to say that, even though I have heard commissioners who I respect say, well gee, why do we need to take time to go to Las Vegas? Everybody knows about Las Vegas. You know, it is what it is -- I think it's a lot more complicated than that.
So just using that as an example, and I won't take the commissioner's time to go through all these other suggested places, I think there's enormous value in making these kinds of visits. I had the experience for the first time, of being in Biloxi, Mississippi last week, and I spent some time in the course of that visit -- too, the advantage of the fact that I was going to be there -- to spend some time with Dr. Moore and learn a little bit more about the Gulf Coast of Mississippi which is an area I'm not familiar with.
And not that I consider myself now an expert on the basis of one visit and one extended conversation with Dr. Moore, but I feel like that gives me a much better grip on beginning to think about the kinds of judgments we ultimately will have to make.
So I would very much hope that the commissioners will -- and again, trying to be respectful of everybody's time commitments -- will give very serious consideration to supporting the kind of workplan and meeting schedule and site visits that you have suggested here in the binder.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Commissioner Leone.
COMMISSIONER LEONE: Yes. I'm going to respectfully -- because I guess we're being very respectful today -- disagree a little bit with the thrust of John's remarks. And I'm going to be plainspoken about it.
I understand that there are -- that in terms of giving people a sense that they've had an opportunity to be heard and an opportunity to speak to the Commission, that there is a necessity for us to visit a certain place, because I think people will feel they've been treated unfairly or slighted, and we want to create an atmosphere in which people at least have a sense -- and being quite unspecific -- that the Commission was willing to listen and would make an attempt to be objective, whatever our points of view are.
Having said all that -- and I have to admit, he's usually quoting me when he says, why are we going there? And I've never been to Las Vegas. In fact, I haven't been to Atlantic City probably, for 15 years and I haven't been to any of these other gambling places. So I'm probably, among the commissioners, am one of the minority who hasn't been exposed to a lot of this activity.
On the other hand, I've been exposed to an awful lot of another kind of activity that I think is analogous. John mentioned the dangers of going to a place for a day or two and then thinking you're an expert.
I think it's one of the -- part of the deterioration of the public discourse in this country is that -- I'll give you my favorite example -- is that now reporters traditionally interview other reporters on the air who have just spent a day-and-a- half in Korea and about, well what do you think is really going to happen up there on the DMZ, Jay? And they go back and forth.
And we've sort of -- if I want to learn about a place I'd like to make sure I get to hear from people who have thought about it and are experts. So I believe we need to have some regional visits to make it convenient for people to visit with us. I don't know that we all have to go everywhere, but then again, as I've learned in these first few meetings, I'm much more trusting in my fellow commissioners than some of the others.
But I do think we want to give people an opportunity to be heard. We want to be sensitive to the economics that don't enable them to travel, where it's convenient for us.
But I guess I think that we should try to make sure we do that; that we are in places where people can come together and talk to us who really know something. And that even though there will be competition to appear and we have to be open about that, that we reach out for people who may well have some objective expertise to bring to the table.
As for the rest of it, you know, I'll go along with the majority. Part of my hesitancy is my own taste in architecture which has never brought me to these particular communities. That's another story.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Let me interject at this point. I want to remind the commissioners that the workplan is still in draft form, and so we are here at this point to entertain discussion of additions, deletions, or that sort of thing. And I wanted to remind -- each of you I think, had received a letter from Dr. Dobson, and I wanted to make sure that you had the opportunity to mention that and to talk about that and to make your case.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: Are you referring to my letter in regard to Louisiana --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: That's correct.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: Thank you, Madam Chairman. I wrote a letter on August 27th proposing that we at least discuss the possibility of going to Louisiana. And it's not in the Commission's book and there's no reference to it. May I distribute copies?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Well, I think -- yes, you certainly may. All commissioners got it; it was cc'd to all commissioners. And so the reason it wasn't in the book is because they all received it. But if you'd like to distribute additional copies that's fine.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: It's a procedural matter. I assume when a commissioner makes a suggestion that if it's not addressed in the tentative plan by the executive director or the Chairman, that there ought to be some reference to it. Would you agree with that?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: I would absolutely agree.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: And this letter is not reflected in the workplan, and so I don't know whether to redistribute it to talk about it, or to just wait for a second.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: No, just as a point of order, it was my opinion that when this came up on the agenda, that that would be the appropriate time to discuss it, and I knew that each of you had received it.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: Is this the appropriate time --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: This is the appropriate time.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: Well, I had suggested that we reconsider going to Louisiana -- which happens to be my home state -- not to get involved in what John referred to as the black hole of the political debate in any way -- we don't have any business messing with that, and I concur. But there are other reasons why I think we should go there.
First of all, Louisiana is the state that has the fourth largest amount of money gambled in it at this time. It is the only state where there has been a referenda to eliminate gambling, so there have been problems there.
My concern is that we're going to go to the showplaces where gambling has been ostensibly most successful and not look at the problems associated with gambling -- and there are a lot of them in Louisiana. Studies commissioned by the State of Louisiana and Louisiana State University suggest serious problems with juvenile gamblers. What can we learn about that?
The enabling legislation which created this Commission requires that we consider, among other issues, an assessment of the relationship between gambling and levels of crime, and of existing enforcement and regulatory practices that are intended to address any such relationship. It's been alleged in recent criminal proceedings that Louisiana -- in Louisiana, members of major crime families have been involved in the gambling industry. Are there lessons for us to learn there?
A 1995 survey of Louisiana district attorneys indicated that crime in the state has risen in direct correlation to the increase in gambling. What factors have contributed to that rise? Are these factors common in other venues where gambling is legal?
Riverboat gambling facilities are alleged to have flouted the laws requiring that they operate in the waterways. To what extent does this occur, and is it symptomatic of other riverboat gambling facilities? News reports indicate that the land- based, New Orleans casino has gone bankrupt throwing hundreds of workers out of jobs. Are there lessons to be learned from that experience in consideration of licensure and placement of casinos and other locations?
And nearly five percent of Louisianians are reported to be problem gamblers. Is that a level common in other states or is it higher than usual? What's the extent of that problem and what factors are contributing to a level of pathology?
Again, my reason for feeling we should go to either Louisiana or a place like that, is that we see the seamy side of gambling if that is in fact, Mr. Lanni, an accurate assumption about gambling.
COMMISSIONER LANNI: Well, after hearing your comments, commissioner, I can see why you left the state.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: I was ten months of age when I left the state, so I had little choice in the matter.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Commissioner Wilhelm.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: You know, Jim and I have been getting along so well in the Research Subcommittee that I'm not going to say a whole lot about that, except to say that -- and I know I'm going to get in trouble with those who have stayed in Louisiana longer than ten months by saying this -- but you know, you've got a chicken and an egg problem if you're going to go look at Louisiana, because you said Louisiana or a place like that.
There is no place like Louisiana, and in all seriousness, and I'm not trying to be facetious, it would be a difficult task to separate out the string of Louisiana which is its rather unusual gambling manifestations, from the whole fabric of Louisiana.
But the comment that I really wanted to follow up on is Richard Leone's comment. Again, I am sympathetic to, as Richard put it at our last meeting, the time burdens on the, as he put it, the citizen commissioners as opposed to those of us who have some professional relationship to the gambling industry.
But you know, I read a very compelling article recently by Rick Hill from the National Indian Gaming Association, and the point of the article -- which was more eloquently put than I will be able to summarize it -- was that if one wants to understand tribal gaming, then surely one ought to go to Foxwoods in Connecticut which is the largest and most profitable casino in the world.
But just as surely, one ought to go to rural Indian casinos in places that have 2-lane roads and very little economy and one ought to go to the other manifestations of Indian gambling in between. And I was very, very struck by that. So much so that I actually sent a note to Mr. Hill who I don't know.
And I think the same thing is true of all kinds of gambling. I respectfully suggest that merely listening to people that know a lot about something -- which is a very good activity to do -- is not by itself sufficient.
I would suggest for example, that even though I've lived in California for a number of years, and even though Leo, who isn't with us right this moment, has lived there since he was two years old, I bet you that even Leo, with his encyclopedic knowledge of that state, would learn a great deal by visiting some of the current manifestations of card clubs and some of the current manifestations of tribal casinos that are in that state, as well as -- I don't know that Leo ever frequents a bar -- but as well as the current state of the California lottery.
So I just don't think there's any substitute for going to look at this stuff, in addition to listening to people. And I apologize for belaboring that point.
COMMISSIONER BIBLE: Well, I --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Commissioner Bible.
COMMISSIONER BIBLE: Yes, I would concur. I think it's very important that we do go out, that we visit sites and destinations that do have gaming available -- not only to broaden our horizon and our knowledge, but also for input from the public and people that are interested and have a story to tell, either pro or con.
There's obviously good stories; there's bad stories. Louisiana, maybe a different type story. I think we can all ascribe certain characteristics to that particular jurisdiction as to whether what has occurred in Louisiana is a problem of gaming or is endemic to the culture.
But I think it's important that we go visit. The one thing I did notice in terms of the agenda is that we probably have left out the Chicago area. There's quite a lot of gambling activity going on in Illinois, in Iowa, in Michigan, Indiana, and now across the border in Canada, and I think it's probably important to include that within the agenda.
Then the other thing that I noticed, Madam Chairman, is the proposed Commission retreat -- which to me kind of suggests a non-public sort of item -- and I would be concerned about that.
I believe that if we develop recommendations we should do in a public context, much as we are today, sitting within a room, in a meeting room, a more formal environment instead of a retreat. And it's probably an implication; I'm sure that's not what you intended in the agenda, but --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: No, that just means that we work through dinner.
COMMISSIONER BIBLE: No, that's fine; just a longer meeting. But I was concerned about that. I think in terms of calendar considerations I think it would be very helpful to me, and probably to the other members of the Commission, if we would start zeroing in on some dates so we could perhaps schedule all of next year, decide where we're going to be, so we can set our calendars and anticipate the meetings so we can plan our other activities accordingly.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: I don't hear any objections, Dr. Dobson, for adding Mississippi. I think the concern -- for adding Louisiana. I think the concern that was expressed last time had to do with the Senate race, but that issue has been resolved, and so there is no real reason that I know of, for not --
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Didn't Mr. Terwilliger -- I know he's left -- didn't he resolve it?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: He sure did. And so I don't hear any objection with doing that.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Having said --
COMMISSIONER LANNI: Madam Chair?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Yes?
COMMISSIONER LANNI: I would like to reinforce Mr. Bible's thoughts about considering Illinois -- especially because Indiana and Illinois have the riverboats and there is a significant amount of gaming and I think it is well worth considering that.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: And as we add these two, please understand that what that means is that something that you see before you now is going to be deleted. Because --
COMMISSIONER LANNI: Or Madam Chair, you could add a stop or two. I'll take notes for Commissioner Leone if he doesn't want to.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: Madam Chairman?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Yes.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: This is the 1998 proposal. Are there possibilities of a visit or two in 1999?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Absolutely. And what I'd like to do with that, again, remind the commissioners that the workplan that you have before you was not adopted -- it was draft -- and that the suggestion earlier today was that now that we have a Research proposal passed, that we sort of lay that over and superimpose that over what we have in front of us; and that we're going to ask our executive director to take on that task -- to incorporate that and the comments that we've heard here today -- and that we will come then, for a workplan that will be voted on and as well as adoption of that final research.
COMMISSIONER LOESCHER: When would you anticipate the next meeting?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: That's open for discussion. I've heard January, but it's at the will and at the discretion of the Commission.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: January 1st. January 1st or the 2nd.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: That's open for discussion with the Commission. When would you like to have the next meeting?
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: I think January makes a lot of sense. I just don't think realistically we're going to get done before the holidays and if we wait past January we're going to be even farther behind.
COMMISSIONER BIBLE: Does that fit in with the Research Subcommittee's timeframe?
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Sure. We meet every couple of weeks.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: I heard a suggestion that we meet on December 31st at MGM. Did anyone --
COMMISSIONER LANNI: Unfortunately with the interest in gaming, there are no rooms available.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: January? And I will also ask the executive director that when we come forward with the workplan that they have dates so that commissioners can in fact, block off those times on their calendars and adjust the work schedule to --
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: So tentatively, the third week of January, Madam Chair?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Tentatively, the third week of January. Now, knowing what that means to Commission staff in terms of having to work -- I mean, it really is a process to watch; the grids that are done with calendars in order to accommodate everyone's schedule -- but we will certainly take a first look at that third week of January.
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: Madam Chairman, I would find it really helpful to schedule the whole year.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Yes, that was a suggestion. That's correct.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: At that time?
COMMISSIONER DOBSON: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: That's correct. The - -
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: May I -- I'm sorry. I had to leave the room on Commission work. May I ask whether there was specific discussion on the list of potential testifier that are --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: For Atlantic City?
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: That's the next topic to come up. And --
COMMISSIONER LOESCHER: Madam Chairman?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Yes.
COMMISSIONER LOESCHER: Just one comment. I spoke earlier on the point and hopefully the committee and the executive director might consider it. I was hoping that in August or September of 1998 we would have a first, rough draft of a database, and interim research reports, and anything else we have -- the first rough draft of our beginnings of our report.
And I think that would -- if we had some goal out there where we could see an interim by August or September of 1998? It's like nine or ten months out.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Right.
COMMISSIONER LOESCHER: The idea is to set a goal where we don't use up the whole two years and then look at our thing and say, it's not there.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Would you like to address that, Leo? Particularly how it relates to our contract --
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: I do want to address this. Commissioner Loescher said in an earlier discussion that he would have no objection to extending the life of the Commission.
I don't want to suggest any kind of serious extension, but given the slowness with which we got started -- given the realities of proceeding on the research aspect now of project design, finding the budgeting required, and so on -- I know and wouldn't object to it, I would strongly urge the members of this Commission to consider that we extend the life -- ask members of Congress to extend the life of the Commission -- by maybe 90 days or 120 days, in order to allow the research to be completed in timely fashion.
And I think there are other reasons as well. Now I'm not suggesting that be addressed now, but I'd like us to think about that, and I don't think that's unreasonable and I don't think we're trying to perpetuate the life of the Commission beyond what we can substantiate as absolutely necessary.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Well, we have two more short items and we're beginning to lose our commissioners and I don't want to lose a quorum. So if we can work through those I would really appreciate it.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Well, we have two more short items and we're beginning to lose our commissioners and I don't want to lose a quorum. So if we can work through those I would really appreciate it.
The first is the Atlantic City site visit. May I suggest this? That since we have postponed that until January and it's not as pressing as it may have been, that commissioners take a look at that, review that, and send comments to the executive director.
COMMISSIONER LANNI: Madam Chair, I'd be more than pleased to. I would like to make one comment, if I may?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Absolutely.
COMMISSIONER LANNI: In looking at the draft agenda for the first time, which as you know, you just distributed to us, I certainly have no problem with some of the site visits. However, as I said when I was appointed to this particular Commission, I would not purport to indicate to anyone that I would be objective. However, I intended to and continue to intent to be fair and reasonable.
And I think the approach of visiting the Rescue Mission in Atlantic City, I support that. I have served dinners there before -- not in Atlantic City but in other areas -- and I think its meaningful to visit that.
I think a visit to the Cash for Gold store and other pawn shops -- I've never been to a pawn shop before so that will be kind of intriguing in itself. But maybe in the sense of balance and fairness, maybe those two site visits and then compare it to the back of the house at Taj Mahal.
Possibly I would suggest that they consider maybe a visit to the new Atlantic City High School. There's positives and negatives; not everything is white and black; there's some gray.
But I think a more balanced maybe, then that approach of just going to a Rescue Mission, Cash For Gold, and then seeing how the back of the house at a major hotel casino works, is not totally balanced.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Well you know, I questioned that when I first saw it and I wondered why there was a site visit there for a Rescue Mission. And the answer that I was given was that it came from both sides in the -- both pro and anti-gambling forces in that area, and they were quite proud of the fact that that Mission existed because of the generous contributions.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Madam Chair, I have two very brief comments -- are you finished?
COMMISSIONER LANNI: I'm just going to add one thing if I could, Leo. No, I think it's fine to visit it and I don't have a strong feeling that it's favorable or unfavorable. I think it's just valuable, that's all.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Right. Yes, that would be my point. Yes, you may, and what I'd like to do then is to really ask people to write their recommendations, and particularly when you look at this panel -- Leo, I think that was a suggestion of yours -- the panel of --
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Yes. I raised this last night. I was having a discussion with a few people around the table here at dinner. I would like to make sure that we don't hear totally -- I think the public has an absolute right to have access to this Commission and to testify.
And I think we also need to make sure that some portion of the testimony that we hear at each of the public hearings we're going to participate in around the country, evokes some fresh testimony and some thought-provoking testimony. That's why I suggested this idea of an expert panel to dwell on some well-defined subject that's part of our agenda.
The second thought -- and I'm glad to see it in here for consideration. The second thought is, if your Senators are going to address this committee may I suggest that we find out what hour is convenient for their schedule and let them testify at whatever that hour might be?
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Well, I would say that we would try to accommodate any of our government officials and not just U.S. Senators; whether it's the Governor of --
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: I'm talking about all of them, yes. I'm talking about members of Congress at the start. Obviously, if the Governor addresses, it's --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Certainly. We try to maintain maximum flexibility on the agenda and work with any elected official -- indeed, any expert witness who would come before us to do that.
Please get that back. I will ask Nancy to contact each of you and get your input. Just one final quick thing. On the rules for public comment, I promised the Commission that we would come forward with some rules; they are in there.
One of the questions that was suggested -- one of the concerns that was raised is that anyone coming before us for public comment understand some areas of conduct. And we will draft something like that; that everyone that comes before the Commission for public comment would adhere to.
Any other questions, concerns?
COMMISSIONER LANNI: Madam Chair. I was just wondering if there any more subcommittees that need to be formalized today? The only one we've approved to-date is the Research Committee, formally.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Well, we could -- we had the Research. There was an ad hoc committee that was for the executive director. That one has completed its work.
COMMISSIONER LANNI: We'd get a budget --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: And what I'd like to do perhaps then, is suggest some other subcommittees and we will then vote on those in our next meeting.
COMMISSIONER LANNI: Thank you, Madam Chair.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Commissioner Wilhelm.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Gee whiz, it's been two months since I got that look from you.
I was just going to make a really minor suggestion in the interests of the forests.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Absolutely.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Which is, in Appendix F in the binder there's a selection of news media articles about the activities of the Commission. And much as I like to read your name and mine and all of our colleagues, as we all know, the volume of that is --
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Big.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: So I would respectfully suggest that we either ship all of it by, you know, trailer truck to each of us, or just leave it out. Because seriously, there's so much of it.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Well, it is, and that was at the recommendation of another of your fellow commissioners who said, could you just include a sample of some of the articles that are out there for review?
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Minor issue.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: And so that's why they're there. Ah, commissioners, thank you. I think we have achieved a great deal today. We've made a lot of progress, and while a lot of it doesn't happen at the meetings, it certainly happens in between meetings, and I want to thank each and every one of you. The Commission meeting is adjourned.
(Whereupon, the National Gambling Impact Study Commission Meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.)